From Village to Presidential Suite: My Life’s Journey
When he set out to write his memoirs, President Emeritus Joseph J. Jabbra did not wish to romanticize or intellectualize his life, but to describe it as he lived it, with emphasis on the people who, with their guidance, advice and cooperation, made it all the more fulfilling.
The end result, as he intended, is a story, the story of his life, wherein the personal and the professional had intermingled and strengthened each other, gradually inducting him into positions of leadership.
From Village to Presidential Suite provides unique insight into the upbringing and hopes of a young Joe Jabbra who would go on to become academic vice president of two universities, in North America and the US. It is during this period that Dr. Jabbra gains insight into the inner workings of academic administration, gradually formulating his idea of ethical governance that would inform his presidency at LAU.
Standing at 698 pages, the better part of which describes his tenure as the eighth president of LAU, the book is a must-read for the “LAU Family” to whom it is dedicated, and an invaluable resource for aspiring leaders.
The pages of this memoir bear witness to Dr. Jabbra’s achievements, from his successful terms as Provost at St. Mary’s and Loyola Marymount, to his crowning moment as President of LAU. But much of the magic of this book lies in its descriptions of his friendships and interactions throughout his life, from the early days in his family village of al-Firzul to his school experiences at Harissa and St. Joseph, and the eventual passage to the United States, armed with Arabic, French, Latin and Greek, but no English. Then on to his life in America and Canada, and the rich relationships he formed with so many in that extraordinary phenomenon that is the Lebanese diaspora.